Washington and Boston Are Beating NYC for Entrepreneurial Talent

(Bloomberg) -- Washington’s efforts to attract and retain top business talent are paying off.

The nation’s capital ranked highest in a measure of talent competitiveness among 114 cities worldwide, according to the 2019 Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index published last month. Washington jumped into the top spot from no. 6 the prior year.

The index ranked the cities by measuring five talent strategies: enable, attract, grow, retain and be global. The first four variables measure how talent is managed at the city level. And the fifth -- be global -- measures the degree of internationalization of cities.

Other U.S. cities in the top 20 include Boston at No. 6, New York City at No. 8, San Francisco at No. 12, Seattle at No. 13 and Los Angeles at No. 22.

Washington and Boston Are Beating NYC for Entrepreneurial Talent

Global Standing

Washington received a high score for the "be global" pillar, which assesses the city’s airport connectivity, higher education across the population and the presence of intergovernmental organizations. Washington, DC hosts roughly 175 embassies and numerous international organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The city ranked no. 5 in both quality of life and affordability. Also, Washington is home to a number of colleges and universities, which helped increase its ranking.

Amazon’s announcement last year to build a headquarters just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. is further evidence that employers believe the area has a lot to offer.

European Influence

European cities made up nearly half of the GCTCI index, in part because of the large availability of city data collected by Eurostat. However, the GCTCI has been expanding its city coverage and this year’s index is the first to include more than 100 cities.

While Europe’s Nordic capitals, Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki are regularly featured among the top 10 talent centers, a number of U.S. and Chinese cities are rising in the ranks.

The number of Chinese cities in the index should continue to increase because of both population growth and local efforts to develop smart cities across the country, the report said. Hong Kong ranked 27th while Beijing held the 58th spot.

The index was created by the prominent international business school INSEAD in conjunction with the Adecco Group and Tata Communications.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.